It is a great feeling when you finally get a six pack but it doesn't matter if your core is weak. Without a strong core, there is no way you can perform a full body workout either. Training your core can help you perform all physical activities better and it can also help you improve your posture a great deal.
When you ask people what the best exercise is to strengthen your core, 99% of the time they will say doing planks. Planks are great and are really challenging, but they are also really boring. They are the single most stationary exercise you can do, since all you do is holding your body straight.
There is another exercise which might even better for your core than doing planks and are also more fun to do. All you need is a barbell or an ab roller.
Ab rollouts are one of the most deceiving exercises out there. You perform them with those little plastic rollers that look like a child's toy or maybe a funny rolling pin. But boy-oh-boy, they are not easy to master and if you practice them often, you will have abs of steel and a core solid as rock.
Granted, ab rollouts shouldn't be the first exercise you start with to strengthen your core. You are better off working up a bit of core strength with planks and then start doing these.
- Get bigger shoulders, get bigger arms. THIS golden rule will help you nail it
- Get bigger calves for bigger legs: THE best calf exercise tips revealed
- Want to track your efforts? Choose the best Fitbit for your needs (Versa Lite)
To perform an ab rollout, you go down on all fours with your feet lifted off the ground, so you are on your knees and your hands holding the ab roller/barbell. Then, you gently push the roller/barbell away from you until your nose almost touch the ground. Once there, you pull the roller/barbell back to the original position.
If you mastered this (won't be anytime soon), you can try the standing ab rollout: same as above but with your legs extended. Starting position is a downward facing dog pose with your hands on the roller, then you push the roller away and then back up again. This one requires an unbreakable core so please be extremely careful when trying to perform it.
Important: If you have lower back issues, please consult your GP before you perform ab rollouts. This exercise can be difficult and potentially dangerous for people with weak core muscles.